Starbucks Center

Coordinates: 47°34′52″N 122°20′08″W / 47.5809906°N 122.3354864°W / 47.5809906; -122.3354864
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Starbucks Center
Front of the building pictured in 2006
Former namesSears, Roebuck and Co. Building
SODO Center
General information
Locationcor. 1st Avenue South & South Lander Street
Address2401 Utah Avenue South
Seattle, Washington
Coordinates47°34′51″N 122°20′10″W / 47.5807°N 122.3360°W / 47.5807; -122.3360
Current tenantsStarbucks
US Bank
SODO Kitchen
AmazonFresh Pickup
Technical details
Floor area1,800,000 sq ft (170,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architect(s)George C. Nimmons

47°34′52″N 122°20′08″W / 47.5809906°N 122.3354864°W / 47.5809906; -122.3354864

Aerial view of Starbucks Center

The Starbucks Center (formerly the SODO Center)[1] is the world headquarters of the coffeehouse chain Starbucks. It is located in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle, Washington; the area is part of the city's large industrial district. Starbucks Center is the largest multi-tenant building by floor space in Seattle,[2] with over 1.8 million square feet (170,000 m2). It is both the largest and oldest building in the country to earn a national green certification.[3]


In 1915, the building was constructed by Sears, Roebuck and Co. to fulfill the Sears Catalog in the Western United States. It was added on the north side of an original 1912 building.[4][5] Sears opened their retail store at this location in 1925. According to the owner, this was the world's oldest continuously operated Sears store (though the Sears store on Lawrence Ave in Chicago opened in the same year and operated until 2016).[6]

The building was repeatedly expanded during the 20th century. After the Sears catalog business was closed, the building was sold in 1990, and eventually redeveloped as the SoDo Center. Starbucks began moving its administrative offices to the old Sears building in 1993.[7] On June 20, 1997, the coffeehouse chain moved its headquarters to the SoDo Center, became the building's primary tenant, and secured the naming rights.[8][9][10] Accordingly, the building's name was duly changed from the SoDo Center to the Starbucks Center.[9]

The building underwent significant renovation following severe damage caused by the 2001 Nisqually earthquake. The Sears department store closed in June 2014 along with its nearby Sears Auto Center. In the first quarter of 2017, Amazon Fresh's newest service, AmazonFresh Pickup, began operating out of the location.[11][12]


  1. ^ "Starbucks Coffee Co. and Nitze-Stagen Complete Major Renovation: Former SODO Center Renamed Starbucks Center" (Press release). Starbucks, Inc. June 16, 1997. Retrieved September 5, 2016 – via PR Newswire.
  2. ^ "Quake-hit Starbucks Center returns". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. September 20, 2002.
  3. ^ "Seattle's Starbucks Center earns national green certification". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. November 1, 2007.
  4. ^ "Seattle Historical Sites Search Result - Department of Neighborhoods (DON)". Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  5. ^ "Starbucks Center in Seattle Was Once a Sears Building". June 19, 2020. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  6. ^ Starbucks Center property information, Nize-Stagen, retrieved April 11, 2010
  7. ^ Paysha Stockton (October 1, 2000). "Heralding the New Seattle". Seattle Times. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  8. ^ Barbara Schechter (October 10, 1995). "Starbucks Expanding Its Sodo Center Headquarters". Seattle Times. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Lee Moriwaki (June 7, 1997). "Old Sears Named Starbucks Headquarters -- Sodo Building Will Be Renamed, Renovated". Seattle Times. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  10. ^ Lee Moriwaki (June 21, 1997). "Starbucks, Developer Help Boost Sodo Area -- 'South Of Dome' Gets Makeover To Become 'South Of Downtown'". Seattle Times. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  11. ^ González, Angel (February 22, 2014). "Sears closing store, ending a century in Sodo building". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  12. ^ González, Ángel (March 28, 2017). "Amazon tries to bag a big chunk of grocery market with Seattle pickup locations". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 1, 2017.